Instead of a New Year’s Resolution

It has been a few weeks since the start of 2023 and I wonder how many people already feel like they have let themselves down by not keeping up with their New Year’s resolution.

We set this BIG goal and expect ourselves to keep it without making the changes that allow us to keep up with it. Goals are amazing (I have so many goals) but when we are so narrow minded on how we achieve a goal, it can set us up for failure. Especially if we create a plan using what other people say to do.

So instead of setting a New Year’s resolution, I chose a word(s) for the year. These words are my intentions. What I want to focus on. When I chose them, sometimes I don’t even know how the words will alter my life and sometimes what I thought I would get from them changes. One year I chose abundance, thinking that it would bring financial abundance. I then realized I already had abundance in love from family and friends.

How do we turn the goals we want into intentions so we can make lasting changes?

Let’s take a look at losing weight since so many people tend to have that as their resolution. You decide on day one you will eat a certain way and exercise regularly. It goes good for a week, maybe even a month but then you “cheat” or get sick or get burnt out. That feeling of shame because you couldn’t keep up with it creeps in and then the goal is out the window. You think you have to start all over because it’s supposed to be perfect.

Making a huge change like that can be extremely exhausting and hard to maintain. I prefer starting to change my mindset and then making small changes that add up. That’s why having a word for the year helps me start to focus on where I want to go.

So, if my goal was to loose weight, I would focus on the word health as an example. Then throughout the year, I would start to pay attention to where I could remove things from my life or add things to improve my health. I would start to listen to podcasts, maybe read books. Then I could create a goal and plan that suits my life and then adjust both as needed.

If you decide to eat Keto for the whole year but two months in you realize Keto is not the right diet for you. Now you did not meet your New Years resolution. But, if your word is health and you try Keto as part of your health journey and you realize it is not the right diet for you, it’s not an issue. Staying on Keto would because it is hurting your health.

This year I have three words and you will understand why as I go through them.

1) Minimalism – this is for my life in general.

The reason this word came to me is because I am having the hardest time keeping up with everything. It’s insane! So, I am going to focus on removing things from my life that do not support me as I work hard to meet my goals. This does include getting rid of things in my home. I think we may have a trunk load of stuff that needs to be given away. The more things you have, the more things you have to pick up and clean. It also means more choices.

I am also removing activities like watching Netflix, scrolling social media, playing games. These all have a time and a place but, I was spending A LOT of time doing all of them. Then I would say I didn’t have time to write.

I am also removing thoughts. The only way I am able to get myself to do yoga, make celery juice, or even shower some days is by saying, “we don’t think, we just do.” Seriously, that has become my new mantra. If I were to think about it in the moment then I would not do it especially in the morning. So, I’m removing thinking in the moment and just taking action. As well as removing thoughts of being overwhelmed and any other negative thoughts that do not lift me up.

This is making me laugh as I am thinking about writing this but I have removed how long I am in bed in the morning. I realized, the longer I am in bed, the less motivated I am and the less time I have for my morning routine. The less I do before work, the more depressed and unmotivated I feel. When I get up really early in the morning, I do things that make my body, mind, and soul feel freaking amazing!

To be able to wake up early in the morning, I have to start at night. I am not watching TV unless it is with the kids before their bedtimes. Once the little man goes to sleep, it is time to get ready for bed and then I read a nonfiction or some sort of biography. Nothing majorly exciting, no page turner but definitely well written (I don’t want to waste my time reading something that I am not enjoying). This helps my brain shutdown and I am asleep anywhere between 8:30 pm-9:30 pm. I don’t even need an alarm in the morning when I go to sleep this early.

A very unpopular opinion is removing coffee and all caffeinated beverages. I don’t want to waste time being anxious or not fall asleep at night. It really effects me and is something I have removed multiple times. I find, every time I start to drink coffee, I end up crashing in the middle of the day. To overcome that I would drink more and more until I’m completely addicted.

2) Diligence – for my career

I want to be an author and write so many books but to do that, I need to write more. By removing things from my life (minimalism), I then have more time to write and start my dream business. It’s working! I am starting to keep track of the number of words I write every day.

3) Adventures – for my family

I want to focus on doing more adventures with my family. Time spent together is more important than spending money. This year will be packed with doing different things.

Let me know what word or words you have chosen for 2023.

Owning Your Journey

Depression and trauma can cause a lot of hardships. It affects the mind, body, and soul, causing harm to each of those. Neither have to define who you are or be in control of your life going forward. Will it always be there? Possibly. Do you have to be miserable forever because of it? No!

When I started to take control of my healing (both mental and physical) journeys, I searched online, read books, listened to podcasts, etc to learn everything I could. What I had been taught growing up, was not helping me so I needed to look elsewhere. I listened to anyone’s story who had overcome hardship. I took it all in. But be careful! Not everything is meant for you. Learn everything you can and try it, but implement only what is right for you. Think of who you want to be and how you want to feel in the future to help guide you. 

One phrase I heard a lot that I ended up letting go of immediately was “everything that happens to me is my fault.” NO! I will not own that. I understand where they are coming from but they have never gone through abuse. For me, the phrase used to be triggering.

Too many times I was blamed for another’s actions or their emotions. Somehow they twisted the events to put blame on me. The action of another is not my fault.  But don’t fall into the victim mindset. It can be so easy to allow that darkness to take over and blame everything on everyone else. The abuse isn’t your fault but getting out of victimhood is something you can do. It can take a lot of time but it can be done.

When I started the divorce process, I told myself, “I will not allow the actions of someone else keep me from having the amazing relationship I know I will have.” I was a bit focused on finding love again but with that statement, I took ownership of changing my patterns and healing the trauma I had faced as well as unlearning what was taught to me growing up. No one else was going to heal the wound within me, only I could do that. So I have rephrased my original statement to, “I will not allow the actions of others to keep me from having the amazing life I know I deserve.” 

I am in control of the journey of my life. It isn’t about waiting for something to happen or someone to apologize or change. It is saying, right here, right now, I choose to take the steps needed to create the life I want. You can take ownership of your journey by doing what you can to heal. As soon as you take ownership, you will start to do the things you need to do for you. 

Ownership: the state, relation, or fact of being an owner. 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Your life is yours. No one needs to give you permission to live it how you want to. Take control of your healing journey and work towards a life you want. Once I started taking ownership of everything I did, I noticed I was not wasting energy on paying attention to what others were or were not doing. Do not wait for someone else.

There are so many other areas of your life you can also decide to own but make healing your first step. All of the other things I did that helped me do not need to be done in order but ownership is definitely the first thing you need to do. Because until you own your journey, it can be really hard to not be stuck in the past. 

Another time I can vividly remember taking ownership was when I was at my darkest moment before I had my second child. I didn’t want to live anymore, it hurt so much but I had a child who needed their mama. While I was on the floor of the kitchen, crying hysterically (because of a broken tea pot), I finally said I was done feeling this way. I was going to be happy. I started by finding the smallest things that brought me joy. You know what? It worked, even though I was in a toxic relationship, I was able to find joy little bits at a time. I’m talking about the smell of hot tea, snow flakes falling down during winter, the song from a bird in spring. 

My snowflake right at this moment hearing the rain outside. Water is life giving. It nourishes and cleanse. 

2023 Here I Come!

Are decisions we have made throughout our life really our decisions? If you think deeply about it, who we are as a person is partially because of the conditioning of our past. And if we are the conditions of our past then our decisions are made because of the conditionings of other people. A reaction to how we were told taught. So then nothing we have done would technically be our fault. 

In those moments then, are we living life or is life happening to us? 

In those moments then, are we living life or is life happening to us? 

When all of our decisions are due to the conditions of our past then life is living for us and happening around us but we are not truly engaged. What kind of life is this then? 

Can you change the conditionings of your past to live a life you want? You most definitely can. I’ve done it once before and I am doing it again. 

2023 feels really scary right now because there are so many walls to be torn down. So many things to accomplish and overcome so I can have the life I want. No approval needed. I am an adult with children of my own and still I feel like I need approval to make changes to my life. This fear that I may be doing something wrong. But wrong to who? 

Who will I disappoint if I follow my dreams? I have no idea.

Who will I disappoint if I DON’T follow my dreams?

Who will I disappoint if I DON’T follow my dreams? ME! I will disappoint myself. I don’t want to be on my dying bed thinking about the dreams I did not turn into reality. 

Today is January 1, 2023 and today I take ownership of my life. 

I have done this before, taken ownership. Fear crept in in 2021 and I have had the hardest time getting rid of it. Granted there have been a lot of things happening and in that all was some intense hormones from pregnancy and postpartum. 

I am so grateful for all of the mental health healing I have gone through so I could cope with postpartum depression. Now that it is gone, it is time for me to take ownership of my life again and I will do that in three parts. 

  1. I will make changes to myself (mental, physical, spiritual, and my home surroundings) by focusing on removing everything that is not beneficial to me. My word for the year to help me in this process is minimalism
  2. I will focus on doing more with my family rather than letting life happen around us. I want to create more memories rather than accumulate more things. The word for my family is adventures
  3. By removing things from my life that do not benefit me, I will be able to carve out more time to create the career I want. To publish the book I have been writing and to get my business off the ground. The work I will be focusing on for this is diligence

Here’s to a new year and to owning the life I want. 

Back to the Basics

I find myself having to go back to the basics and boy is that hard to accept. I’ve done so much work on my mental health that a part of me feels shame that I don’t have it all together right now. 


We live in a society that promotes perfection but that is not realistic. It’s still ingrained in us. Growing up, shame was used for discipline. Religion uses shame to keep people in line. Shame then brings on fear. Worrying about what others will think of us. 


I find myself struggling with depression and anxiety. I find myself eating unhealthy which has brought on pain and fatigue. My house currently is a reflection of the chaos that is within me. My life is so unorganized and chaotic. I feel despair, hopelessness, unworthy. I want to hide away from the world.

“Life is a process – just one thing after another. When you lose it, just start again.” – Richard Carlson

The last year and half has been the hardest. The universe has hit me with challenge after challenge. One hurdle after another to jump. Top it off with postpartum depression and coping is hiding away. I’m grateful for the work I’ve done in the past because my self awareness has helped me understand what I’m feeling and why. 

“There is no shame in admitting life is hard.” – NikkyNicole

So here I am, ready to do the work, again and go back to the basics. I’m removing shame because there is no shame in being a human. There is no shame in my emotions and how I feel. There is no shame in admitting life is hard. And there most definitely is no shame doing what I know helps me. 

Join me on my journey. I will be working on writing more consistently. It brings me so much joy and if it helps someone else, that is a huge plus. 

Now, I’m not going to go into everything that has happened this last year. Bits and pieces may surface in coming blogs but I do not like to dwell on the negative. I learn from and grow from the hard times but I hold onto the joy. Others call it gratitude, I call it finding the snowflakes. The little bits of beauty that can be found even in the darkest times. 

If you know me, you know I HATE cold weather. My body does not do well when it’s cold and can even cause me pain. We went to Georgia this last summer, during their hottest season. My body felt freaking amazing! We stayed in Savannah for a night on our way to Florida and even though I was sweating from the heat, I felt no pain. I am going to find a way to buy a house down there one day.

Now to get back on track. Cold and me do not mix even though I was born in January outside of Chicago. Either way, when it snows, it brings so much wonder and joy to my soul. Winter is a time of darkness and gloom but snow brings a blanket of light, wrapping us up. Reminding us there is beauty even in the dead cold of winter. 

Whenever I hear someone talk about finding things to be grateful for, internally, I push back. I want to ask “What is there to be grateful for?” And then list all of the shit that has happened to me. As I write this, I realized that for some reason, when I think about being grateful, it has to be something big. 

“Small snowflakes added together become something big. Look for the small things.” – NikkyNicole

Snowflakes are small. Small snowflakes added together become something big. Look for the small things. And I’m talking tiny things that bring you joy. 

Right now, my three snowflakes are the smell of the camomile vanilla tea I am drinking, the love of the man laying in bed next to me, and remembering the laughter of my three children playing together the other night. 

Home Birth Experience

“Why the fuck am I not at the hospital with an epidural?”

That went through my head a few times during labor. Usually it was while I was going to the bathroom and I was alone. I would then follow up with:

“You are doing this for CJ.”

“You don’t want CJ to be in the hospital during this time.”

“You wanted to be home for the afterbirth.”

I did this for you.

Home I was. Snuggled in my bed sleeping without a nurse checking on me every couple of hours. Little Man spending a lot of time skin on skin with his Daddy next to me. I think we spent three days almost naked in bed.

Even though it was challenging to have a home birth there were so many positives. For one, I learned SO much more from my midwives than I did from the doctors when I was pregnant with my older two. I never felt pressured to do anything or made to feel stupid (with my first the doctor told the nurse I didn’t know what I was doing right in front of me with my legs spread why). I went so deep into my primal abilities, that nothing in the world mattered and instinct took over.

Active labor started at 1:00 am. My mom was over by 3:00 am. The midwives showed up about an hour or so later. I took a couple of baths to help me relax and even laid down in bed for a bit. I spent a lot of time standing, holding onto a sheet Chris hung from the pull-up bar.

“He has dimples!”

Side note, if you’re ever help a woman in labor breath slower, do not blow your breath directly into her face. Thanks for trying to help mom, thanks for stopping when freaked out, and thanks for laughing with me about now.

Things really got intense when I crawled onto the bed. That didn’t work because I was too exhausted my arms could not hold me up and when I put my head on the bed, my stomach touched my legs. That was a big HELL NO. Nothing could touch my torso during a contraction. I then crawled backwards and ended up with my knees on the floor and my upper body on the bed. Stephanie (midwife in training) said later she thought it was so beautiful how moved with what my body was telling me I needed.

The sun had risen, the window was open in mid-February to cool me off, and things progressed really fast. I yelled, “I don’t think I can do this.” Every one said you have this and Chris grabbed my hand. Later, Andrea (midwife) told me that’s when she knew delivery was really close by. She said every woman says that right at the end, even midwives giving birth for the fifth time.

My water broke (or I should say exploded out of me) at 7:38 am and Little Man was caught by his Daddy at 7:42 am.

Today I am grateful Chris was the first person to touch our son but at the time, I remember squeezing his hand. In my head I was saying “DON’T LET GO” but I was so far gone into my body, I couldn’t vocalize it. I laugh about how my mom had to pry my hand from Chris’s so she could take his place. And I remember hearing Chris yell out “Doctor Balke is ready!”

CJ came into this world, weighing in at 9 lb 10 oz and 22 inches long.

9 lb 10 oz and 22” long

My body is amazing and it knew exactly what to do. “I am my mother’s savage daughter.” Beautifully designed.

Who’s Path?

What path are you on?

What path do you want to take?

Has someone else chosen your path?

I feel like I keep going back and forth between the path I want to be on and the path I think others want me to be on. 

As we grow up, there are so many people who influence our choices. It has been a challenge thinking about each choice and figuring out if I am making it because I truly want to make it or am I relying too much on the inner programing. 

Deconstructing…an ongoing journey. – NikkyNicole

Deconstructing that programing has been an ongoing journey. Breaking down the pieces of me I thought I was, to reconnect with person I truly am. 

It isn’t about finding yourself because yourself has been with you the whole time. It’s about letting go of who you are not, bit by bit. 

Merry Simple Christmas

The holidays have looked so different at our house. Since we decided to renovate, we have had no decorations up for Christmas. I don’t know if it is the lack of decorations or the weather being so warm in the Chicagoland area, I just have not been in the Christmas spirit. Now, I haven’t been Scrooge either. Some of it could be the exhaustion of being pregnant. The thought of decorating is not appealing. Even my oldest child hasn’t been in the mood to decorate. 

There is no shame in not having a decorated home. – NikkyNicole

So, we’re flowing with it. There is no shame in not having a decorated home. What we do have, is a house full of love and laughter, which I believe is so much more important. It is also a house full of construction and a mess currently. 

Deep breath Nikky, deep breath. It will all come together before baby CJ arrives. My nesting stage has definitely arrived but I want everything done right this second. Unfortunately, it all takes time and steps. Currently we are working on our first floor. Painting everything, new floors, new countertops, new bathroom vanity. It will look gorgeous once completed!

So today, I will focus on finishing the cabinet doors and then shopping with my oldest. Not a bad day off!

This weekend, I will enjoy more time with family during this extended Christmas season. Then it’s back to getting ready for our new arrival in February and preparing to launch FairyTastic. Don’t forget to head over to and subscribe to get updates. A FairyTastic Adventure: The Missing Light will be available for preorder soon!

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Beauty In The Healing Process

At some point in my healing journey I started to see the beauty in the messy journey. The tears that once seemed so ugly, are now a sign of release and beautiful in their own way. A day of no makeup, comfy clothes, and my hair a mess is absolutely full of beautiful relaxation and rest. The venting about about an issue is also beautiful because it brings realization of the truth and laughter.  Crying beautiful tears to let out the old and make room for the new. 

Like the empty trees in winter, we too can know that the messy parts of healing will bring new growth. Stand tall like the tree that wilts away the dead leaves knowing it will bloom once again. 

If you would like to support me on my new business journey, please head over to and subscribe. The first fantasy fiction book, A FairtyTastic Adventure The Missing Light, will be out for presale the winter of 2022. We are looking to have other fun FairyTastic stuff for sale summer/fall of 2022. We can also be found on Facebook and Instagram @fairytastic. The book was written with middle schoolers in mind but can be enjoyed by all ages. 

When fear takes over

It’s amazing how fear can take over. All the healing thats been done vanished because of one incident. Over the summer, I didn’t even realize that it took over. I was so sure I was beyond fear (thank you ego) that it grew. And then because one fear took over, other fears began to sneak in unnoticed. 

…Other fears began to sneak in unnoticed.


I was a mess. I thought all of it was hormones from being pregnant. Or maybe that was what I told myself so I didn’t have to deal with my fears. The hormones made it harder for me to process my emotions but I couldn’t process the emotions fully because I didn’t recognize the underlying issue…FEAR.

I am not going to get into detail as to what triggered my fear but I am going to talk to you about how it affected me and how I got out of the cycle. 

It wasn’t until I realized that I was living in fear did I realize how much it was effecting me. I stopped doing the things that brought me joy. No writing, drawing, yoga, meditating, playing the piano, etc. So essentially, I was disconnected from myself. That in turn caused a disconnection with my partner, Chris and my kids. 
But what was so fascinating (and I can only say that now that I am out of it), is that the one fear allowed so many other fears to sneak its way back in. Even fears that I have worked through and released previously. My fear of abandonment showed back up and feeling disconnected from my partner just intensified that. Thankfully he was amazing and loved me as he always has. I was afraid I was going to miscarry. I was so worried about what people were thinking about me. I was constantly worried about my kids.

In all, I was scared every day and had no idea I was! I knew something was off but could not figure out what it was. 

It hit me like a lightning bolt one day while having a hard conversation with Chris. Once I was able to recognize the initial fear was there, I was able to process it and let it go. That led me to slowly recognize the other fears and let them go. 
The initial fear took about a month or so to fully let go. Triggers kept coming so it was like two steps forward, one step back. Once that was released, I was able to recognize the others. My fear of abandonment took just recognizing it to let it go and on the same day I realized that I was disconnected from myself as to why had been feeling disconnected from everyone else. 

Getting rid of fear brought back my confidence. I am finally building the business that I have been dreaming of for the last 6 years! 

Getting rid of fear brought back my confidence.


If you would like to support me on this journey, please head over to and subscribe. The first fantasy fiction book, A FairtyTastic Adventure The Missing Light, will be out for presale the winter of 2022. We are looking to have other fun FairyTastic stuff for sale summer/fall of 2022. We can also be found on Facebook and Instagram @fairytastic. The book was written with middle schoolers in mind but can be enjoyed by all ages. 

All-Encompassing Wisdom

I started my practice with the Dakini Families with the Buddha family. If you did not read my last blog, I recently read Wisdom Rising: Journey into the Mandala of the Empowered Feminine by Lama Tsultrim. I spent a week focusing on the meditation and connecting with the white Dakini. I went so far as purchasing some white shirts and going bra less (read the book, you will understand). The Buddha family is the center of the Mandala and I am so freaking grateful it was the first family I started this practice with.

Lama Tsultrim Allione talks about how everyone has an exit family. Which is when things get tough, this is the family that shows up to get you out of a situation. I didn’t realize it until 2 weeks after I was working on the Buddha family that this is my exit family. Confrontation is very hard for me and I tend to want to hide away from the problem rather than just take care of it. If my partner and I are having a hard conversation, I tend to take a blanket to, literally and emotionally, cover myself. When I recognized that, it was profound. He pointed out that was hiding in the middle of that discussion and we were able to have a quick side discussion where I told him that he was right and I thanked him for pointing it out. I don’t want to hide, especially from him. Especially because each hard conversation allows us to get to know each other more and grow closer.

I realized just now that every hard conversation with have with another person, not just a significant other, we have an opportunity to build a strong bond with them. We also have an opportunity to learn more about ourselves. So figuring out what my exit family is, has allowed me to stop reacting so I can fully listen and then respond.

And I connect with the Buddha family in more ways than it being my exit out of difficult situations. For years and years and years, I always wondered why I just couldn’t get things done. There were things I wanted to do but would procrastinate or I would get into a depression and push things off. It is one thing to take a day of rest which I love to do and need it at times but it was another to put things off and have a heavy sadness within. Even my book has been put to the side so many times and I enjoy writing it and want to finish it. My house can get messier than I like and I would ask myself “why can’t I just clean it?” When I was in school homework was the worse even if it was my favorite subject. It took so much energy to do anything at times.

And then it all came to light when I read that the encumbered pattern for the Buddha Family is ignorance (spaciness, depression, procrastination, denial and dissociation). Everything that I have been trying to work through was laid out in front of me and the author gave me a way to break those old patterns. The first time that I spoke the family’s seed syllable, BAM, I had an immediate reaction. A tingling feeling when up and down my arms and into my toes and there was a release of tension from my core. This reaction was small. It took me about four days of doing the meditation before I really felt the spaciousness and allow the spaciness to leave. I felt so productive during the next few days. There was a freedom from within that was so powerful and relieving.

The meditation helped so much that when I stopped doing the Buddha family mediation so I could focus on the Vajra family, the productivity stopped. I did one day of the Vajra family meditation and then stopped for three days, did it again and then stopped all together. It was quite amazing when I realized what an impact the white Dakini had on me. So yesterday when I started the Vajra family meditation again, I did the Buddha family meditation first.

Being able to connect with the White Dakini has released me from an internal bondage that was keeping me from accomplishing the things I have been wanting to. I have started drawing and painting again. I am reading more. Slowly my house is getting organized, cleaned, and kept clean. I am at peace with myself more now than I have ever been and I see the world around me clearer.

When I first read about the family she talks about how the wisdom is an all-encompassing wisdom. I didn’t understand it at first but now I do. Now I get it. I feel it. My mornings now start with the discipline of getting up every morning, lighting a candle at the alter, doing the Buddha family meditation, and then yoga. There is more that I want to add onto this routine but for now this is my start to a more disciplined life and there for more freedom.

It sounds funny how discipline and freedom go hand in hand. By being disciplined in my meditation practice I have freedom from being weighed down by the thoughts in my brain that hold me back and cause suffering. By being disciplined in my yoga practice, I have freedom from physical pain so I can do all of the activities that I want to. By being disciplined with my diet, I freedom from pain, fatigue and all of the other symptoms of a quiet and invisible disease. “Discipline brings freedom” is currently on the mirror in my bathroom to remind me why I am focusing on discipline right now.

Discipline brings freedom and freedom brings peace and with peace I can feel a joy that is everlasting. A joy that does not come from anything external but from deep within.

And don’t forget to read Wisdom Rising by Lama Tsultrim Allione. I want to hear about your journey into the mandala.